A “perturbed parent” – one parent, by the sound of it – has convinced fellow atheists in the American Humanist Association that giving Christmas presents to poor children in the Third World is tantamount to proselytising: the AMA has threatened to sue a school for taking part in Operation Christmas Child.
By preventing the giving of these Christmas gifts, atheists are engaged in their own twisted brand of evangelism: they are ramming home Richard Dawkins’ cheery view that in our universe there is “no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” Surely there must be some parents “perturbed” by that?
A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity.
Renee Mathews, the principal of East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., said the annual Operation Christmas Child project was halted because the American Humanist Association threatened to sue the school.
“We received a letter saying we had to cease and desist immediately or they would take legal action against us,” Mathews told me.
[T]he American Humanist Association decided to intervene on behalf of a perturbed parent.
“The boxes of toys are essentially a bribe, expressly used to pressure desperately poor children living in developing countries to convert to Christianity, and are delivered with prayers, sermons, evangelical tracts and pressure to convert,” read a letter the AHA sent to Mathews.
The AHA said a public school cannot affiliate itself with a group like Operation Christmas Child without violating the Establishment Clause.